(Credit: US EPA)

KQED’s Josh Johnson talked this morning to Jared Blumenfeld, the head of the US EPA’s Region 9 (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, and 147 Native American Tribes). For many years, federal and state officials have tried together to move towards restoring the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta ecosystem.

Today, the EPA launches an investigation into pollutants, specifically things like ammonia from waste water treatment facilities, to selenium from agriculture and oil processing, to pharmaceutical drugs individual consumers are flushing into the bay.

Scientists have discovered invasive species moving into the ecosystem, everything from blue-green algae to “jellyfish that we’ve never seen here before, taking over the system,” Blumenfeld says. “25 million Californians drink this water, and it irrigates 4 million acres of crop land. This is an incredibly critical system to the health of California’s economy and to the health of its agriculture.”

The EPA hopes to have an action plan proposal out by the end of the year. You don’t have to get out of your pajamas to comment. You can send an e-mail

What’s in the Water? 10 February,2011Rachael Myrow

Author

Rachael Myrow

Rachael Myrow is KQED's Silicon Valley Arts Reporter, covering arts and culture in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. She also guest hosts for The California Report and Forum, and files stories for NPR and the KQED podcast Bay Curious.

Her passion for public radio was born as an undergrad at the University of California at Berkeley, writing movie reviews for KALX-FM. After finishing one degree in English, she got another in journalism, landed a job at Marketplace in Los Angeles, and another at KPCC, before returning to the Bay Area to work at KQED.

She spent more than seven years hosting The California Report, and over the years has won a Peabody and three Edward R. Murrow Awards (one for covering the MTA Strike, her first assignment as a full-time reporter in 2000 as well as numerous other honors including from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television News Directors Association and the LA Press Club.
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